April 25, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan
Another special no audience show broadcasted from the Ice Ribbon Dojo for free on YouTube in addition to Ice Ribbon’s NicoNico channel.
Tequila Saya and Yappy are commentating. They made a great team throughout and the English explanations were much appreciated. Banny Oikawa refereed all the matches.
The IW19 Title Tournament starts here. The field has been announced but which matches happen on each show will be revealed day of.
A Block features participants in IW19’s previous incarnation:
Tsukasa Fujimoto vs Hamuko Hoshi
Risa Sera vs Kurumi Hiiragi
Tsukushi vs Mochi Miyagi
B Block features newcomers to IW19:
Satsuki Totoro vs Thekla
Maya Yukihi vs Uno Matsuya
Suzu Suzuki vs Akane Fujita
All tournament matches have 19 minute time limits and a 19 count outside the ring. First round singles matches and the block semi-final triangle matches also have over-the-top eliminations in play (the final between block winners will not). In the case of a time limit draw internet fan voting via the live broadcast on Nico will determine the winners.
This show will feature one match from each block and a non-tournament tag team contest between them.
Side note: Ice Ribbon’s insisting that it’s “I-W juu-ku”, and is not to be referred to as “I-W nineteen” (yes, English letters pronounced as normal but insisting on Japanese pronunciation of the numbers). I imagine this is for consistency sake but it’s honestly rather awkward.
1) IW19 Tournament B Block: Satsuki Totoro vs Thelka
As I remarked about the previous shows, the energy for these is really impressive. Totoro in particular is quite loud in her vocals and it helps elevate the atmosphere in the absence of a crowd.
Both participants here are right around 3 years experience, and quite good for their level. This was a solid, mostly smooth start for the tournament with Totoro controlling with her size and power and Thekla countering as she could with speed and bursts of unique offense. Thekla makes a great addition to the roster and looked competitive even in defeat as Totoro’s onslaught proved too much to endure.
Totoro’s tope rope senton sends her on to the Block B semi-final.
2) Tsukasa Fujimoto & Risa Sera vs Hamuko Hoshi & Uno Matsuya
A little bit of a preview for Block A, as tournament opponents Tsukka and Hammy are on opposite sides of this tag match. Really fun, energetic contest. Ice Ribbon has done a particularly good job of pacing the matches on these internet shows to really draw in the virtual viewers and keep them engaged. Everyone’s putting in top notch effort and it shows.
Towards the end Uno gets some nice nearfalls on Tsukka to shine a bit before eventually being defeated with the Venus Shoot.
3) IW19 Tournament A Block: Tsukushi vs Mochi Miyagi
It’s mentioned that Tsukushi is coming up on her ten year anniversary in wrestling. Nice to be back to acknowledging her original debut.
So like the opener this is a match between wrestlers of similar experience levels. Although Tsukushi is the more decorated wrestler in terms of title runs, etc including being a former IW19 champion. Mochi is just returned from an injury absence and looking fully back to normal.
There’s a bit of brawling outside ring to illustrate the 19 count (which is unusual as Ice Ribbon matches are generally no-countout). Tsukushi sends Mochi at the wall with such force Mochi’s foot goes right through it when she blocks herself from crashing into it.
A couple of in-ring highlights saw Mochi dropping Tsukushi across the top rope from torture rack position in a vicious looking moment, and Tsukushi absolutely wiping Mochi out with thing like her against the ropes dropkick and corner hanging doublestomp. The nearfalls at the end had a real sense of urgency, including Mochi kicking out of the Denden Mushi and countering a Harukaze attempt for 2.999.
One of the best singles matches I’ve seen from Mochi and an excellent main event to cap off the first IW19 tournament show. Tsukushi wins with a second Harukaze to advance.
Tsukushi has no intention of waiting to be crowned champion, and shows off a cardboard version of the belt she’s sure she’ll be wearing soon.
Another fantastic show from Ice Ribbon under the current difficult circumstances. The consistency of these shows and everything that goes into them is impressive and greatly appreciated.
If anyone is interested in / able to support the production of these shows (which with no crowd have no income from ticket sales) YouTube superchat and Nico Nico chat present system are available during the live streams, and Ice Ribbon has a Nico Nico subscription channel with a large library of older shows.
Note: The replays of the live stream of these shows are only available for free on YouTube for a short period. But they’re then replaced with the enhanced, multi-camera version through the first match with the full show available via subscription to their Nico Nico Channel. There have been some complaints about the frame rate during the live broadcasts (although it hasn’t been that bad for me personally) but to my knowledge the later uploaded versions have no such issues.
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